John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


Notes For A DJ

Being in the radio industry I’ve picked up a few things that I’d like to share with you. Whether you like it or not. There are certain things that I’ve heard on the radio that annoy the hell out of me, and I’m assuming you as well. First of all, “The DJ Voice.” This is the most disgusting form of the DJ. This is a condescending voice that comes from the back of the throat and sound like Don Pardo announcing songs. It works well for Don Pardo. It worked well in the 80’s. It even worked well for that guy who wears the shinny ties on “The Price Is Right.” In modern day radio, however, you are doing nothing but insulting the listener by doing a fake voice. As a matter of fact, any DJ that relies upon voices (aka Jim Shorts of Kevin Mathews fame) and impressions to create a foundation for their show may find that their program has been placed upon a bed of sand.
I also don’t want to hear anything from this list:

“Gotta pay the bills.”“Keep it locked on.”
“Rip the knob off.”
“To the __ caller.”
“Stay tuned!”
“We’ll be right back.”
“My favorite band/album/song.”
“Don’t touch that dial!”

These are all either tired phrases that are EXTREAMLY outdated or insults to the listener. To demand that a listener “stay tuned” does nothing but create the desire to see if there’s anything better out there. To say you’re about to “pay some bills” sounds stupid in the first place, but more importantly has been said to death. If you are holding a contest and are about to give something to the ___ caller, you lack any form of creativity what-so-ever.
The true secret to radio is to be a combination of three things: a friend, real and reliable. The above does not accomplish ANY of these things. If you were out in a bar with a friend, none of the above sayings would make any sense. If one of my friends said “stay right there, I’ll be right back,” the first thing that I’d do would be to find a different part of the bar to be in when he or she returns just to mess with them. I hate being told what to do as if I were a child.
One of the most important things I learned from my internships came from a guy by the name of Greg who works at WBBM FM in Chicago. He once said “Assume that your listeners are as intelligent or more intelligent than you are at all times.” Thus, never ever talk down to them. Who knows if a doctor is listening to you. (Yes, we have those in Effingham.) Or perhaps someone who is a great deal more read than you are is listening. Go ahead and tell a joke that has literary or historical roots. Some listeners will get it and appreciate that you are willing to cater to their needs, while the rest of the audience is awaiting the next joke about gas. They, too, will appreciate that you respect them enough to discuss matters that are of higher intellect.
However, one of the important things that I mentioned before is relatability. How do you accomplish this when you are trying to cater to such a large demographic? You can’t. You can’t always be everything to everyone at all times. It would be impossible. Therefore, you should find out who it is that your station is targeting, and be able to relate to them. Who is MY target demo? The 30 year old female. So, what do I do? I watch E’s “The Soup” and make sure I’m up on Ben and J-Lo’s relationship - they are still together, right? I had a woman on recently explaining football in female terms right before the Super Bowl. Would most guys get into that? Perhaps on a level that I wasn’t trying to accomplish, but the 30 something female that I’m relating to probably appreciated knowing a bit more about the game that their husband or boyfriend was so into and MAYBE they got more joy out of the Super Bowl than just watching the commercials. (Although, this most recent Super Bowl left A LOT to be desired!)
Another component is to be real. Talking in the Don Pardo voice IS NOT real. Talk in your normal voice. The days of the “radio announcer” are over. With IPods and Satellite Radio becoming more and more popular, the only real difference is the person in-between the songs. It is this person that has to be relatable and real. People are smart. They can detect a phony a mile away. (Just like Holden Caufield) And no one appreciates someone pretending to be something that they are not. Therefore, talk in your regular voice and talk about regular things. And don’t use the word “as” instead of “because” to make yourself sound smarter. This goes for people off of the radio as well. This is my number one grammatical pet peeve. But, no one is going to remember the great set of music that you had lined up in the 4:00 hour. But, people still come up to me on the street and ask why I don’t match my socks. And even demand to see the socks that I have on thathe listener what is coming up so they have a reason to listen. Telling them that you have to “pay some bills” is far from compelling. Telling them that you have a list of locations where they can register to win tickets IS. Think like the average listener and be able to relate to their level. Never forget to be real and be their friend. After all, it is YOU that they invite into their bathrooms in the mornings and YOU that rides shotgun on their way home from work. The music they can find on satellite, IPod, CD or another station. The person between the songs makes the difference. If you can think of anything else a DJ says that annoys the hell out of you, please let me know, and I will include it on a second post. If you can think of a DJ that has said something memorable, let me know, and I’ll put that on there as well.


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